Coronavirus: Trick-or-treating decisions in hands of local communities, DeWine says

Halloween is another holiday that will be different due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Mike DeWine said that determinations about trick-or-treating will be made by communities, hopefully with consultation with local health departments.

The governor noted that some health guidelines, like wearing masks, might not be an issue for things like Halloween costumes. However, hayrides and haunted houses are more problematic.

“Halloween celebrations this year will not look like those in years past,” he said. “Face coverings must be worn, social distancing should be practiced, large groups should be avoided. And stay home if you are sick.”

More details about the state’s recommendations will be announced closer to the Oct. 31 holiday.

DeWine also shared two new coronavirus dashboards. One details cases at K-12 schools and another shows how the virus is affecting Ohio children.

The school dashboard breaks down school districts by county and includes new and cumulative cases for students and staff.

The children’s dashboard shows how many Ohioans younger than 18 have tested positive for the virus, as well as hospitalizations and deaths. It also breaks down cases by county, age groups, ethnicity and race.

Dr. Patty Manning from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center said the information is meant to help parents and health care providers learn more about how the virus is affecting children throughout the state.

Montgomery and Butler counties remained at alert level 3, despite Ohio seeing the lowest number of level 3 counties since the system was first announced.

Both counties are still being affected by cases at local universities, but the cases are dropping, DeWine said.

Mercer County also remained at level 3.

More counties throughout the state are shifting from level 1 to level 2. Eleven counties went up to level 2 this week and about 70% of Ohioans live in a level 2 county, DeWine said.

Shelby County was the only one in the region at level 1, with the remainder of the Miami Valley at level 2.

Ohio also has four additional counties that meet the CDC’s threshold for a high incidence of coronavirus, bringing the number to 21. The four new counties are Greene, Athens, Delaware, Harrison and Pickaway.

There have been 141,484 total cases of coronavirus and 4,580 deaths attributed to the virus in Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

More than 1,000 cases were reported Thursday as well as 25 deaths.

Hospitalizations increased by 65 for a total of 14,625. ICU admissions went up by 15, bringing the total to 3,149.

The state is reporting 119,690 presumed recoveries.

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